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Low interest rates helped fuel Oahu’s February real estate market

Oahu’s housing market remained relatively strong in February, a month where record low mortgage rates continued to drive the market despite the looming uncertainty of the new coronavirus.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors today said sales volume for single-family homes last month rose 18.8% to 247 transactions from 208 a year earlier. The median sale price for single-family homes dropped 3% to $765,000 from $789,000 in February of 2019. However, HBR said the median price drop was largely due to a boost in mid-range sales. Some 55% of all single-family home sales in February were in the $600,000 to $899,000 range.

For condos, the median sale price rose 3.6% to $430,000 from the year earlier $415,000. However, the number of sales fell to 316, a 1.6% drop in volume from February 2019.

“While COVID-19 presents new concerns and uncertainty in the general economy, the impact on our housing market remains to be seen,” said Tricia Nekota, president, Honolulu Board of Realtors said in a written statement. “However, we anticipate that homebuyers will continue to drive steady activity as they take advantage of historically low interest rates.”

Mortgage firm Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage this week had moved down to 3.29 percent, the lowest level in nearly 50 years.

February home sales report by Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Scribd

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